The problem is in plain sight: drug and alcohol misuse reaches into every corner of the Australian community – into workplaces, families, sporting clubs, and professional life. And, alongside, sit the accompanying disorders of depression, anxiety and self-harm.

 We all know someone who is affected.

 The casual normalisation of drugs and alcohol, and the overlaid health and safety challenges they bring with them, is a problem we all ‘own’ as a community

“If we are to get to the nub of the misuse of drugs and alcohol, we have to first accept that this is a cultural thing we are up against,” Alcohol and Drug Awareness Australia Director Anthony Pettiona said.

“That means we have to change our ‘thinking’ around these substances, in the way we use them, in the ways they are ‘modelled’ socially and in the media, and in the modelling we do in front of our children.

“At ADA Australia, we believe that by building awareness of the health impacts, the effects on family and financial security, and the social and workplace impacts, can we begin to address the problem,” Mr Pettiona said.

 The ETU, the Electrical Trades Union of Australia, is committed to doing something about it. It has entered into a partnership with Alcohol and Drug Awareness Australia (ADA Australia) to assist ETU members to ‘Stay Safe and Be Well’ around their use of alcohol and legal and illicit drugs.

 ADA Australia’s alcohol and drug awareness training programs, with a range of associated services, is now being delivered to ETU members and their families; some hundreds have now gone through the program.

The training is designed to assist people to recognise at-risk behaviours, to understand the negative health impacts of drugs and alcohol, and to assist workmates or family members who may be struggling with misuse or dependence.

The training also equips participants to recognise symptoms of associated disorders such as depression, anxiety and suicide, and to assist in getting professional help and advice. Importantly, ADA Australia also provides a 24-hour telephone help-line, ‘A Friendly Ear’, available to all ETU members and families.

Announcing the U-Turn ‘DAY ASSIST PROGRAM’ for ETU members and families

As an additional service to members, the ETU is also partnering with Alcohol and Drug Awareness Australia to provide ‘day’ intervention programs and assistance to ETU members (available also to families) who may be struggling with substance use.

In an Australian-first (and possibly world-first), this initiative – called U-Turn ‘DAY ASSIST PROGRAM’ – has the potential to change lives. Provided by ADA Australia and fully supported by the ETU (at no cost to members), the programs will run out of the ETU Wellness Centre at the ETU Headquarters in Arden Street, North Melbourne.

Each program will run from 4 – 6 weeks (depending upon the needs of the individual). This initiative, besides delivering positive work health and safety outcomes, has the potential to turn lives around and get skilled, capable people back on the job – healthy, productive and resilient.

For more information on these programs, contact ADA Australia on 1300 378 429.

ENDS.

Tim O’Brien
ADA Australia